Local Paramedic Receives National Award, Visits Congress

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LifeNet Paramedic Cyndy Rider recently returned from a trip to Capitol Hill, where she received the Star of Life Award and visited with congressional leaders from Texas and Arkansas.

Selected by her peers at LifeNet, and honored by the American Ambulance Association, Rider was one of only 100 EMS professionals from across the nation to receive the national award this year.

Rider has worked in EMS since 2013 and became a paramedic at LifeNet a few years later.

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“Cyndy thoroughly enjoys working with paramedic students as a preceptor. She takes great pride in teaching others not only the skills necessary to become a confident and proficient paramedic but also how to maintain a positive attitude in stressful and sometimes difficult circumstances,” said David Baumgardner, CEO of LifeNet.

Each year, LifeNet honors one EMS professional from their Texarkana Division who goes above and beyond by naming them a Star of Life.  As part of the honor, the Star is sent to Washington D.C. for three days, where they have the opportunity to share their story and discuss issues impacting the EMS industry with legislators.  During her visit, Rider met with Senators Ted Cruz and John Boozman and with Congressmen Bruce Westerman. She also met with staff from Senator John Cornyn’s office and Congressman John Ratcliffe’s office.

“My father was killed in a car accident when I was 18, and I was one of the people to arrive on the scene. I wasn’t a paramedic at the time, but that had a huge impact on my decision to go into this field.  I wanted to be able to save someone else’s dad one day,” Rider said, as she shared with Senator Boozman why she started a career that led to this award. 

In addition to allowing Rider to discuss issues facing the EMS industry, Congressman Ratcliffe’s office also provided Rider with a private tour of the Capitol Building, where Rider had the opportunity to see where legal issues impacting the EMS industry are discussed.

Rider acknowledges that serving the community as a paramedic is a calling and a blessing.

“I am grateful for the opportunity this job has given me to have a meaningful impact on the lives of my patients,” she said.

When not at work, Rider enjoys camping, traveling, spending time with her four dogs, playing piano, and serving the members of Fairview United Methodist Church.

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